The North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Amendment created quite a controversy recently when it appeared on the May 8, 2012 ballot in the state. The measure makes the definition of marriage to be between one man and one woman. It also bans any other type of “domestic legal union.” Same-sex marriage is already illegal in North Carolina. This measure, which passed, just added the ban to the state constitution.
Now, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has put himself into the recent controversy surrounding this amendment. While speaking to the graduating class at the University of North Carolina, he used his chance to be inspirational as an excuse to preach and be political instead.
While at Kenan Memorial Stadium on Sunday, Bloomberg told the crowd that the recent vote shows that the country still has a lot of work to do on civil rights. As he said,
“But over time, we understood that freedoms that are not fully shared are not fully safe. If government can deny freedom to one, it can deny freedom to all. Exclusion and equality are mortal enemies – and in America, every time they have met in battle, equality has ultimately triumphed.
Throughout our history, each and every generation has expanded upon the freedoms won by their parents and grandparents. Each and every generation has removed some barrier to full participation in the American dream. That work is not over. Far from it.
And – I would argue – last week’s referendum banning same-sex marriage shows just how much more work needs to be done to ensure freedom and equality for all people.
When the torch passes from one generation to the next, the light of liberty always shines more brightly. And I have no doubt that in your lifetime, liberty’s light will allow us to see more clearly the truth of our nation’s founding principles, and allow us to see all people, and all couples, as full and equal members of the American family.”
The rest of his speech was quite inspirational and heart-warming. Whether you agree with Mayor Bloomberg’s sentiments or not, the political opinion and message just don’t seem to have a place at the graduation speech.